I’m one of your City Councillors for the Pukehīnau-Lambton Ward in central Pōneke. When I was first elected I was 22 years old, running my campaign while also being the President of the Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association.
My campaign focused on representing issues important to our student population, like advocating for better rental conditions, making our city safer to live, work and have fun, and making Pōneke more accessible and affordable for everyone. I did this knowing that if Wellington is to have a successful future, we need to think about how we look after young people and families who want to build their lives and careers in this city.
Being elected was just the first step. In my first three years on council, I have held the climate change, city safety and youth portfolios. I have also served as Deputy Chair of the Pūroro Āmua Planning and Environment Committee with delegations over housing, planning, urban design, transport planning, natural environment and climate change.
The challenges that face our city in the coming years are complex and I am doing my part to understand and solve these problems, in a way that upholds the mana of people and our precious natural environment.. I have been pursuing a Master of Resource and Environmental Planning, and am currently completing a dissertation on Aotearoa’s housing crisis, housing policy-making and the need for large-scale public housing investment.
I am proud to be a rangatahi Māori and I strive to bring this lens to all of the work that I do. This means thinking creatively about how Council can be good Tiriti partners, supporting mana whenua, honouring the mana and mauri of the natural world, and always applying a Te Tiriti framework to decision-making.
It’s been a busy three years serving this city - who knows what we might be able to achieve in three more!
Tamatha Paul (Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Pukeko, Tainui)